Mr. Rudolph Thomas, 83 of Waycross, passed away Friday afternoon, August 14, 2020, at Memorial Satilla Health.
Born in Patterson, GA on July 15, 1937, he had lived in Pierce County most of his life before moving to Ware County five years ago. Mr. Thomas was a 1955 graduate of Blackshear High School. An accomplished musician (violin and guitar), he joined the Savannah Symphony Orchestra after his high school graduation and went on to play with them for a year. It was at this time that he decided, along with some of his friends, that they would go ahead and join the US Army before being drafted. Mr. Thomas served two years in the military then came home and went to work at the railroad. He would eventually leave the railroad and attend Georgia Southern College, now Georgia Southern University, and obtain his teaching degree. It was after teaching for one year that he decided he would return to the railroad in order to better support his family. Mr. Thomas retired in 1997 and along with his late wife, Rev. Norma Jean Cochran Thomas, would help pastor at several Methodist churches, Brooks United Methodist Church being the last.
Over the years, Mr. Thomas enjoyed playing in different groups including the most recent, the Oldie Goldies group. Another pastime for his was inventing/tinkering and building things - he was always working on alternative power sources. Mr. Thomas loved sports – especially watching his grandchildren play them. He was a member of Liberty Freewill Baptist Church.
He was a son of the late Aaron & Virginia Amanda Horton Thomas. In addition to his parents and first wife, he was also preceded in death by a daughter, Suzanne Wilson; and by a son, Kelvin Thomas.
Survivors include his wife Azalee Pate Thomas of Waycross; his daughter and son-in-law, Lou & Richard Taylor of Patterson; his son and daughter-in-law, Curtis Rudolph & Angela Thomas of Knoxville, TN; a son-in-law, David Wilson of Covington; his sister, Mae (Guinn) Steedley of St. Marys; his brother, Douglas Thomas of Dahlonega; 6 grandchildren, Kyle (Erin) Thomas, Rusty (Kelly) Wilson, Rebecca Craft, Mishnaree Mincey, Sasha Mincey; and Banner Thomas; 3 great grandchildren, Nathan, Logan, and Lena; and several nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
Funeral services for Mr. Thomas will be held Monday morning, August 17, 2020, at 11:00 o’clock from the Pearson-Dial Chapel.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home chapel one hour prior to the service.
The family will have a private burial in the Blackshear Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, savannahphilharmonic.org (912-232-6002).
Due to COVID-19 and the fact that several of Mr. Thomas’ family members are high risk, the family kindly requests that all in attendance at the visitation/funeral for Mr. Thomas wear a face mask. Social distancing will also be in place. Those not feeling well are encouraged to pay their respects by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.
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